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All eyes are on sports sponsorship as the Premier League kicks off

Posted by Kat Farminer on 16th August 2013

2012 was the year that had it all, the London Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee, the release of a new Bond film, it was going to be hard to beat. But as we roll through 2013 it seems the legacy from one event at least is still going strong.

As soon as the bid was won and we knew the Olympics was coming to London brands were falling over themselves to get in on the sporting action. Long-term PR campaigns were devised and companies who seemingly had no sporting connection were suddenly everywhere. However, whilst this was deemed the ‘London 2012 effect’, this process is not new and neither is the involvement of consumer electronics brands in the mix either – look no further than Chelsea’s shirt sponsor for a start.

As the football season kicks off this weekend, so too does the competition for the brands sponsoring big teams to get their names in front of fans and general consumers alike. Sports sponsorship is certainly a way for lesser-known brands to garner mass consumer awareness, but as the Olympics has taught us it’s how you leverage this sponsorship that matters. Simply paying the money and letting the team/player/club do the rest is no longer enough.

Brands who are willing to hand over their marketing budget to sponsor teams need to make sure they’re in the room for all legal discussions from the start. Marketing/PR managers need to intrinsically understand what their contract brings them to be able to make the most of it. No sports team/event just has one sponsor so they’ll all be competing for the same fan affection and understanding how to use players, stadiums, ‘access’ better than their rivals is crucial to success.

Traditional media outreach is just one part of a successful sponsorship campaign – obviously brands delight in seeing a footballer splashed across the back pages (for the right reasons) with their logo across their shirts, but for us, leveraging a sponsorship is more than this. It’s all about engaging with the fans as at the end of the day, get them on board and you have hundreds of thousands ready-made brand ambassadors ready and waiting to be put to work!

Of course, sports sponsorship is not all about football! There are naturally other big high profile events, like Wimbledon, Grand Prix, The Ashes but it’s worth considering some other sports growing in popularity thanks to London 2012 like cycling, BMX or athletics. The options really are endless so finding one to suit any campaign or budget does not have to be a headache.

To read our full advice on how to best leverage a sponsorship deal click here.